Friday, October 3, 2008

Where have I been?

Wow, it's been over a year since I posted!

There was a reason why I haven't posted for awhile. A quote that comes to mind explaining what happened comes from, of all people, professional wrestler Roddy Piper - "Just when you think you know the answers, I change the questions!" I felt like that was what the higher power said to me this past year. Those changed questions really took much of my time.

Some of the changed questions weren't sinister - in fact, they were pretty damn good!

I was content at the place where I was working (a robotics company) until March. Not thrilled or happy, but content. The kind of work that I was doing wasn't really what I wanted to do, but it paid the bills. I wasn't really looking to stay at the job for a long time, but I wasn't really looking to go somewhere else, either. I was just buying my time for a year or two until I decided whether I wanted to go for a PhD or change careers completely. Out of the blue, I got a phone call from a "headhunter" talking about my ideal job. At this job (an energy company), I would get to use my newly acquired masters degree, PLUS I was going to learn and work in SharePoint, the "next big thing" in IT and business. On top of that, it was a 15% salary increase PLUS great benefits that were dirt cheap. Ready for the twist? I was on the fence about taking the job! I figured "better the devil you know than the devil you don't know". It was my mother who talked me out of that way of thinking. Surprisingly, she really gave me the business! After her pep talk (more like a "kick-in-the-butt" talk), I turned in my notice and started my ideal job three days before my birthday.

[Another good thing that came out of that job - I became an "urbanite". I moved to the city, about 1/2 mile from my job. My new apartment has a killer view - it overlooks the river, trees and a walking path. Nice.]

Unfortunately, some of those changed questions were sinister.

I was diagnosed with a massive tumor in July. Fortunately, it was benign, but it was causing life-threatening health problems. I had to get surgery and treatment in order to get well. The surgery and treatment were aggressive, and both took a toll on me. On top of that, the tests that I had to go through to make sure that I didn't have cancer were taxing as well. The thought that was going through my mind was, "Is it really worth it to go through all this? Maybe I'm better off just trusting my luck." I'm glad I went through the hell. I'm fully recovered, and I'm able to do the things that I couldn't do for a year and a half.

Now that I'm back in full swing, I will be writing on this blog again. Here is a sneak peek at some of the topics that I'll be covering:

  • Post-secondary education advice and issues - I still teach part time at a post-secondary institution, and I love it!

  • Linux (particularly Fedora) - I do a lot of work on my own and in the classroom on Linux (Fedora distro).

  • What I learned with SharePoint - Since I'm learning how to design and develop in SharePoint, I thought that I would share some things that I've encountered.

I also want to do more work on my website My Mwalimu. I changed the focus of the site where it will now contain educational games and cartoons (hope Spring's eternal on the cartoons - I can write scripts, but I can't draw worth bleep.) It will allow me to keep up on my tech skills and practice foreign languages. If you have any ideas, or if you want to display your work on the site, please let me know.

I'll see you soon!
-- Jennifer

P.S. Although I put writing on this blog on the back burner, I read other people's blogs, both technology related and non-technology related. My favorite blog is Uncle Eddie's Theory Corner. This man is a talented artist, writer and comedian with knowledgable opinions on any subject.

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